Perfect Picture Book Friday: Chrysanthemum

The summer is winding down. Even though there is still another month until the official start of fall, I feel the crispness in the air when I go out early in the morning.

With the end of the summer comes the beginning of the new school year. As a child, that was heralded by the purchase of a school outfit, a shiny pair of shoes, and brand new school supplies. Many years later, as a teacher, I busied myself with preparing the room for a new flock of kindergarteners.

Parents…you have a difficult job…helping your child adjust to a new teacher, a new class, perhaps even a new school. And today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday selection is a great story to read, especially if your child seems to be having a problem transitioning to the new situation.



Written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes

Publisher: Greenwillow Books (1991)

Ages: 3 and up


Teasing, acceptance, self-esteem


From Amazon:

Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again?

Opening Lines:

The day she was born was the happiest day in her parents’ lives.

“She’s perfect,” said her mother.

“Absolutely perfect,” said her father.

And she was.

She was absolutely perfect.

Why I like this book:

  • Kids need help dealing with the challenges of childhood…Kevin Henkes understands this perfectly and he delivers a story that every child and every parent will be able to relate to.
  • I love that this book provides an opportunity for open communication about what might be bothering your child.



 YouTube reading of Chrysanthemum:

 Teaching guide on Kevin Henkes website:

 Logo final BB2 1 inch 300dpi

 This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, dear friends and readers. We will be announcing the winner of the copy of Jill Esbaum’s If a T-Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party next month…and stay tuned for lots more book giveaways because there will be one with every Will Write for Cookie post. I’m SO VERY EXCITED about the line-up of authors and illustrators for the rest of the year: Joan Leotta, Sylvia Liu, Emma Bland Smith, Jessica Lawson, and on the third Saturday in December…Duncan Tonituah. Right now, I’m putting together next year’s schedule…and I can tell you that March 2017 is going to be one busy month…with Marcie Colleen spotlighting as our Will Write for Cookies author, the #50 Precious Words Contest (oh my gosh…do you think we will have another incredible turnout…will we surpass last year’s 128 entries?), and the launch of my own debut nonfiction picture book, Sweet Dreams, Sarah.

I’m eating lots of Wheaties in preparation for all of that!!!! And I sure do hope you all join me!

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2018), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, cooking, playing Monopoly with my 8-year old grandson and fly-fishing with my husband.

Posted on August 26, 2016, in Perfect Pictture Book Friday, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Vivian, thanks for featuring this lovable classic! It is, indeed, a perfect picture book for back-to-school. Going any place new for the first time makes you aware of differences, and we must figure out how to deal with them while remaining true to ourselves–a struggle we really never outgrow. Looking forward to your up-coming lineup!


  2. This was always my beginning of the year book – love it!


  3. Love this book! Thanks for reminding me to reread it for the start of the school year.


  4. Nice review! I still need to read this! 😀


  5. Once again, you reviewed an incredible book and a treasured classic I have on my own shelf.


  6. Thanks for highlighting this wonderful book. It was a favorite in our house. I want to get to get it out and read it again!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Polilla Writes

reading, writing, celebrating the written word

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Michelle Eastman Books

Kid Lit Author and Advocate


about reading, writing & thinking children's books

Laura Boffa: Write of Way

Giving the way of writing the right of way


A Gallery of New Picture Book Talent

EMU's Debuts

From Deal to Debut: the Path to Publication

Wander, Ponder, Write

A KidLit Journey...

Picture Book House

reviews and stories about parenting with picture books

Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension

Norah Colvin

Live Love Laugh Learn . . . Create the possibilities

Gathering Books

Singapore | United States of America | Philippines

Beth Anderson, Children's Writer

Reader, Writer, Miner of Moments

Dan Szczesny

Travel Writer / Journalist / Author

Susanna Leonard Hill

Children's Author

The Stinky Backpack

Traveling the Everyday World

Write One Real Life

Where writing meets faith in the real world.

The Runaway Palate

Food. Travel. Cooking. Random musings. Maybe some historical stuff.

Jennifer Elisa

Poetry & Vignettes

The Reader and the Book

"O Day of days when we can read! The reader and the book, either without the other is naught." Ralph Waldo Emerson


Authors & Illustrators Wild About Kidlit!

One Good Thing

Teresa Robeson's 365-Day project

Tracy Campbell

Heart for Ewe Publishing

kidsbook friends

Check out this blog about children's books!

Mary Jo Beswick

Artist Author Illustrator

Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

Children's Writer

Pattern Me Mommy

My journey from Type A know-it-all to MOMMY! by Anna Redding


PB author, poet, writing for kids

Friendly Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales and Poetry Celebrating Magic and Nature for Kids of all Ages

Lauri Fortino's Frog On A (B)log

Sharing and Celebrating Picture Books Since 2009

Stacy S. Jensen

Writer & Reader

Reading With Rhythm

book reviews from Rhythm the Library Dog

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

Nerdy Chicks Write

Get it Write this Summer!

Laura Sassi Tales

Celebrating writing, reading, and life.

Erika Wassall here... The Jersey Farm Scribe

Author, Freelance Writer, Entreprenur... LIVER of life

Angie Karcher

Writing Children's Books

Chapter Book Chat

A Writer Reviews Chapter Books, by Marty Mokler Banks

%d bloggers like this: